As the first true cool days of Autumn descend upon Florida, grocery stores stand stocked with spiral hams and free-range turkeys ready to be brined, baked, fried, and carved. Piles of sweet potatoes, which sadly only get called upon once a year for some, stand spud-to-spud with Idaho Russet and Idaho Golds, ready to be doused in butter, no matter the preparation method.
Cans of green beans vie for the attention of “everything from scratch” cooks who, instead, look for fresh beans for the green bean casserole. Cans of pumpkin will be mixed with cloves and cinnamon, filling kitchens with mouth-watering aromas. Rolls will be picked up, and mostly ignored, as millions of Americans dive into their special meals on Thanksgiving Day.
“Thanksgiving,” what a word. As defined by Merriam-Webster, it is: 1. The act of giving thanks. 2. A prayer expressing gratitude. 3. A public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness. Excuse me for my lack of eloquence, dictionary reference, but all I can say is “Wow!” Do we need this in our lives, or what, people? After the 2016 year election process, we are all seeking peace and calm. I wonder, as I peruse social media and see the sad divisions in families and close friends due to differences of opinions on policies and candidates, will fences be mended over heaping plates and football? We have all witnessed, or have even been a party to political bickering on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. People professing their love of one candidate or another found themselves at the disposal of “friends”, who with an equally quick keystroke could let others know where they stood on things. Sadly, relationships have been cracked, and now we work toward mending, particularly as the holidays approach.
With tongue-in-cheek though, I wonder how conversations may play out around a few dinner table this year, post-election and Facebook rantings. Is it possible sweet Aunt Martha might be building a wall around her coveted apple pie and decide not to share with you? And after Uncle Tom has his share of martinis, might he send you in search of healthcare for your non-support of our nation’s healthcare? And forget about the adults, what about the kids’ table? Traditionally a place for homemade place settings and cute turkey-shaped cookies, are the wee-ones going to start repeating the political rhetoric their parents have been filling their ears with for months? Are the adults going to sheepishly be nibbling at their stuffing while silently willing their children to be quiet? If this political season has told us one thing, it is that all things are possible.
I hold out hope that tradition and family importance trumps (pun intended) everything electoral. I hope that while you’re setting your tables and putting an extra shine on your homes for visitors who will be gracing your doorways, that you put aside differences and concentrate on likenesses. If you’d give your life for a relative or somebody who has become like family, forget about their vote and make your time with them count. Stare into eyes and warm smiles that have been there for you through thick and thin and feel gratitude in your heart for each and every one of them. Reach out to people who will be home alone and for whom Thanksgiving would be a sad day, and invite them to your table, or deliver a turkey sandwich and trimmings after the fact. Let people know you love them on this day, and all days. Thanks and giving. We hope you are doing both things throughout the coming holidays. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers and friends of The Sarasota Post. It is our pleasure to count you among the reasons we are giving thanks today.
We’d love to hear what your holiday tradition is! Please comment below on what this day means to you and how you’ll be celebrating, what you’ll be eating, and which teams you’ll be rooting for.
“Thanksgiving” photo courtesy of Ladydragonflycc on Flickr, commercial use allowed / Other photos from Deposit Photos